For the first 17 years after independence, Fiji was a parliamentary democracy. During that time, political life was dominated by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and the Alliance Party, which combined the traditional Fijian chiefly system with leading elements of the European, part-European, and Indian communities. The main parliamentary opposition, the National Federation Party, represented mainly rural Indo-Fijians. In 1963 the two political parties were born: the Alliance Party, a multiracial but predominantly Fijian organization headed by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and the Federation Party, also multiethnic in appeal but dominated by the Indian community.


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